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Niches to Riches/Users/adamp/Desktop/APR08/Optimized/BizLine

Enhance your expertise, more effectively help customers and distinguish yourself from the competition. Here are 10 markets to target this year:

1. International Sales. The weak U.S. dollar makes homes a bargain for Europeans and gives Canadians more buying power. Latin Americans also recognize that now is an ideal time to buy lower-priced properties.

2. Short Sales. In a short sale, the owner asks the mortgage lender to accept a payoff that is less than the total amount due. Any potential short sale is contingent on the lender’s approval.  

3. Foreclosures. For most Florida sales associates, the biggest opportunities come from working with buyers, including renters seeking an inexpensive first home, handyman types who want to repair and resell a fixer-upper, and investors seeking income-producing properties.

4. New-Home Sales. A statewide inventory of several hundred thousand newly built residences remain unsold. Real estate professionals can help buyers take advantage of builder incentives and special financing

5. Property Management. Property management, either in a full-time salaried position or as a supplement to a sales career, can provide a steady income flow.

6. Luxury-Home Sales. Luxury-home sales have held up surprising well during Florida’s residential downturn.

7. Commercial Brokerage. Economists expect Florida’s commercial real estate market to outperform the residential sector in 2008, with active sales and leasing activity in the retail, office, industrial and hospitality markets.

8. Young First-Time Buyers. A recent study by International Demographics found that there were 6.2 million adults aged 18 to 35 with household incomes over $100,000 in 87 major metropolitan areas.

9. Seniors. More than 78 million baby boomers (born between 1946 and 1964) are beginning to reach their 60s. And a significant percentage want to retire to attractive communities in Florida.

10. Singles. From recent college graduates and young professionals to divorced parents and elderly widowers, singles at all age levels constitute a growing segment of the Florida market. Nationally, 51 percent of all U.S. adult women live without a spouse, and by 2010, Fannie Mae estimates, as many as 31 million single women will be homeowners—28 percent of all U.S. households.

For more information visit the Great Time to Buy microsite: To read this article in its entirety, go to and search “Scratch That Niche: You Might Like It.”